Episode 18 – Shigechi’s Harvest Part 1
This week’s episode of JoJo is decidedly gentle. No one dies, no one is horribly injured, no one eats a meal that cause their eyeballs to explode in watery fountains. What we do get is the introduction to one of my favourite characters and one of my favourite Stands in the series: Shigekiyo Yangu and his Stand, Harvest.
After a really nicely directed introduction narrated by Koichi talking about the serial killer lurking beneath the everyday events of Morioh, we move on to Josuke in the bank lamenting his severe lack of money. There’s a little reference back to the episode where Joseph used Josuke’s credit card to buy baby supplies but it turns out the lack of funds is pretty much Josuke’s own fault. “I can’t even remember what I used the money on!” he exclaims, something that anyone who’s been on a spending spree on payday can no doubt relate to. As he scrounges around for change, Josuke witnesses a tiny Stand creature coming out from under a nearby table carrying a 1 yen coin before dashing out of the bank. Josuke pursues it, only to be joined seconds later by Okuyasu who is also pursuing an identical creature that’s running off with change. The creatures are joined by many more, all running in the same direction. The pursuit leads them to Shigekiyo, otherwise known as Shigechi, a simple minded middle school student who has been using his stand to gather discarded coins from all over town. This turns out to be a golden opportunity for cash starved Josuke and Okuyasu.
Harvest has always struck me as a very practical Stand. Of course, Josuke’s ability to fix anything and Jotaro’s ability to briefly stop time are far more powerful and more useful, but there’s something about Shigechi’s ability that appeals to a very lazy part of me. It’s a Stand built for convenience, useful for finding your lost keys or retrieving the remote control from the other side of the room. And of course, there’s its ability to obtain money, explored in a lot of detail in this episode. Shigechi’s initial idea is simply to gather all of the lost change from around town. He’s checked with the police that he doesn’t have to turn in any change under 100 yen so it’s all above board. I like this little detail about Shigechi’s character, that deep down, he wants to do the right thing. Overjoyed at meeting people with Stand powers like himself, he offers Josuke and Okuyasu half of his takings but Josuke turns him down, instead coming up with a counter proposition using Shigechi’s Stand to gather discarded coupons from around down and hopefully turn them into cash.
This is a comedy episode, but as always, there’s a lot of detail in the character work here. Josuke is my favourite JoJo and I think this episode exemplifies why that is. He’s kind hearted and principled but not perfect. He’s an ordinary teenager trying to do the right thing but also wanting to have fun while he’s doing it. He turns down Shigechi’s initial offer of money because it would be wrong for him to accept it, but he also wants some name brand shoes so he’s not above manipulating Shigechi to go along with a plan that benefits all of them. Later on, when the money starts to bring out people’s greed and tensions escalate between Shigechi and Okuyasu, he’s a voice of calm reason… but he also has another plan up his sleeve somewhere. Shigechi is an interesting character as well. A lot of comedy is found in his innocence but the sudden influx of friends and money into his life brings out a darker streak of greed. As Josuke says, it doesn’t make him a bad guy, he just doesn’t know any better. If anything, Shigechi wants to do the right thing just as much as Josuke and Okuyasu but then his greed and his blossoming ego starts to get the better of him and the episode ends on a threatening tone because of it.
This was a really good, light-hearted episode of JoJo. There was a neat little moment with Koichi and Yukako that didn’t really seem to serve any story purpose but it was good to check in with them, albeit briefly. I’ve even come around on the new opening of the show and I feel like it fits in well with this arc now that we have a better sense of the overall plot. There’s the hint of a fight to come in next week episode so we’ll possibly see some new and interesting uses of Shigechi’s powers then.